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Washington leaving Kentucky for NBA

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky forward PJ Washington will enter the NBA draft pool and hire an agent, ending his collegiate career after leading the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore.

The 6-foot-8 Dallas native averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while leading second-seeded Kentucky (30-7) to the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region final. He was an All-Southeastern Conference first team and consensus All-America third team selection.

Washington declared for the draft last year but didn’t hire an agent. He returned to Kentucky in hopes of improving and helping the Wildcats win a national championship.

Kentucky fell short of reaching the Final Four. Washington thanked coach John Calipari and his staff in a statement Tuesday for “challenging me to become the player that I am.” Calipari said Washington’s development “has put him in a position to do some special things at the next level.”